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Best things to do in Sandakan

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Where in the world: Asia  /  Malaysia  /  Sabah  /  Sandakan Division  /  Sandakan

Top 15 things to do in Sandakan

1. Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)

Meet some of the island's most famous inhabitants in their native habitat at Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). Opened in 2014, the center rehabilitates sun bears that have been rescued from captivity, then reintroduces them to the wild in the surrounding nature reserve. Visit the main center to learn about the conservationists' important work, as well as the threats posed to these distinctive and desperately endangered creatures. Stand on wooden observation decks to watch the bears play, climb, and feed as they head down the road to recovery.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $100 › Learn more about Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)

2. Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Visit the home of the island's most iconic natives at Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. Founded in 1994 by a benevolent developer, the reserve protects around 60 of the seriously endangered primates, supplementing their diet and keeping track of their numbers. Visit the center at feeding time to watch the families of these pot-bellied, large-nosed monkeys emerge from the jungle, and take a walk across the reserve to observe them searching for food in their natural habitat.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $128 › Learn more about Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

3. Sandakan Memorial Park

Visit Sandakan Memorial Park, a powerful historical site commemorating Allied prisoners of war. Built in the grounds of the former Sandakan camp, the memorial honors the lives of 2,345 POWs that died during the Sandakan and Ranau death marches, when the country was occupied by Japanese forces during World War II. A simple black obelisk marks the beginning of the route marched by the prisoners, and bears a moving inscription in dedication to their lives and service.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Sandakan Memorial Park

4. Private Full Day Sepilok Orang Utan, Bornean Sun Bear and Rainforest Discovery Center Tour

FROM $115
Join this full day tour with your friends or family member to explore several Attraction near Sandakan. You will get chance to visit Sepilok Orang Utan,An opportunity to watch the orang utan up close in their natural habitat. Bornean Sun bear is a sun bear rescue and rehabilitation facility being developed in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Rainforest Discovery Centre evolved from small, cozy environmental education (EE) centre in 1996 into one of Sabah's most popular EE centres.
Suggested duration: 7h - 8h
Tours from $115 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Turtle Island Park

Admire the nature of some of the earth's slowest inhabitants at Turtle Island Park. Providing a safe habitat for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles, the park offers the opportunity to see turtle landings at night. You'll need to join an organized tour to access the attraction, which includes an overnight stay in the onsite accommodations. After dark is the time to catch sight of the turtles coming in and laying their eggs, which rangers then take into the hatchery for protection. It's not all about the turtles, though: their natural enemy, giant monitor lizards, also live in the park, along with eagles and sharks. Note that the hour boat ride to the park can induce a bit of seasickness, so plan ahead.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Turtle Island Park

6. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sepilok

Visit an important conservation project at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Opened in 1964, the center aims to rehabilitate orphaned baby orangutans rescued from logging sites, plantations, hunters, and homes, before releasing them into the wild. Set in a protected rainforest, the project lets you witness how they train the young orangutans to survive in their natural habitat, swinging on climbing frames, being fed, and monkeying around. Walk the wooden pathways and bridges through the surrounding nature reserve to see mature orangutans back in their natural environment after rehabilitation and release.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

7. Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)

Visit a center of environmental education at Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC). Starting off as an environmental school, the center opened its doors to the public in 2007, maintaining its focus on conservation and education while broadening its appeal to younger and amateur visitors. Enjoy a stroll through the plant identification garden to learn about the vegetation that thrives in the surrounding nature reserve. Take a trip up to the 25 m (82) ft high canopy walkway to gain a new perspective on an area of thick rainforest--great for photographs and bird-spotting, and secure enough for kindergarten-age children.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $115 › Learn more about Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)

8. Labuk Proboscis, Sepilok, Sun Bear, Sandakan City Tour & Lunch

FROM $128
enjoy your ride to the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre where situated in the Kabili-Seppilok Forest Reserve. Take a boardwalk through the lowland rainforest to have a look for the Orang Utan feeding on the feeding platform. Proceed to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkeys Sanctuary, the Borneo’s indigenous Proboscis Monkeys, to have a look in their natural habitat. Witness the feeding of Proboscis monkeys at the platform. Bornean Sun Bear is the smallest bear in the world where their height of the adult sun bear is approximately 120cm to 150cm while standing, weight with 27kgto 65kkg. T Last enjoy the City Tour visit the Puh Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, a place that you do not want to miss. It is located on the hilltop overlooking a breathtaking panoramic view of Sandakan Bay.
Suggested duration: 8h
Tours from $128 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Gomantong Cave Sandakan

To explore the vast limestone chamber of Gomantong Cave Sandakan, visitors brave the pungent reek of bat guano, the sight of millions of creepy crawlies, and the constant drip of moisture from the ceiling far above. Circumnavigate the cave on a raised walkway, which carries you over the steaming bat droppings and masses of cockroaches, scorpions, centipedes, and crabs. Shafts of sunlight pierce the cavern, providing enough light to make out the twittering bats and swiftlets, small birds known for making edible nests, a highly prized ingredient of bird's nest soup. Bring a hat to protect your head and step carefully across the slick boardwalk. In the rainforest outside the cave you can spot rare birds and monkeys, as well as an occasional orangutan.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $90 › Learn more about Gomantong Cave Sandakan

10. Sepilok Tropical Wildlife Adventure

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Sepilok Tropical Wildlife Adventure

11. Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple

On a hilltop overlooking the town and its harbor, Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple is the largest Chinese temple in the area. If you wish to learn about the history and significance of this shrine, sign up for a guided tour of the city--visits to the temple are usually included in most day trips.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $111 › Learn more about Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple

12. Private Full Day Gomantong Cave and Kinabatangan River Cruise with Lunch

FROM $90
Join this private day tour with your family if you are in Sandakan. You will get a chance to visit  Gomantong Cave (An intricate cave system inside Gomantong Hill) and 1 Afternoon River cruise at Kinabatangan River.
Suggested duration: 9h
Tours from $90 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Agnes Newton Keith Home

The remarkable life of a celebrated American author comes to life at Agnes Newton Keith Home, filled with a mixture of period reproductions and genuine antique furniture . Agnes Newton Keith published three autobiographical accounts of life in Borneo, and this museum occupies her former home in Sandakan. Upstairs, browse the gallery providing insight into Keith's life through words and pictures; pay special attention to the section dedicated to her time spent in an internment camp during World War II. After visiting the museum, take a moment to wander through the gardens, overlooking Sandakan Bay.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Agnes Newton Keith Home

14. Lankayan island

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Lankayan island

15. Sepilok Orang Utan & Bornean Sun Bear Centre with Sandakan City Tour with Lunch

FROM $111
This is the world's largest sanctuary for orphaned or captured young orangutans and where they are slowly reintegrated back into the wild. You have the opportunity to witness the animals at feeding time in their natural habitat and enjoy watching their antics. Its onward then to see the Malayan sun bears, the smallest bears in the world which are only found in Southeast Asia. These bears continue to be threatened by forest degradation, illegal hunting for bear parts and poaching to obtain young cubs for pet trade.
Suggested duration: 8h
Tours from $111 › More about this tour at viator.com ›